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Masterclass II: Platforms for global monitoring – Emerging capabilities and challenges (Space-Earth Interactions)

October 8, 2020

Masterclasses remain a central part of UT Austin Portugal’s 2020 Annual Conference agenda. These thematic and highly-specialized sessions feature renowned experts in their fields.


Description of Masterclass II 

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, the prospect of miniaturized space platforms and high-precision Earth remote sensing are beginning to unleash their full potential for global Earth observing. Emerging technologies create new opportunities, but also pose new challenges.

In this masterclass, world-renowned experts will illuminate the underlying Space-Earth interactions from three different vantage points. Prof. Byron Tapley will elucidate the emerging capabilities of miniature satellites and their roles in sustained Earth observations. Taking advantage of high-precision geodesy, Prof. Kristine Larson will demonstrate complementary Earth observing capabilities, through unanticipated uses of the Global Positioning Systems as a remote sensing technique to monitor the Earth’s surface. Vastly expanded satellite traffic and underlying space debris are creating an increasingly serious space traffic challenge. Prof. Moriba Jah will discuss transdisciplinary solutions tying academia and industry together to address this challenge and to develop the Earth’s orbit sustainably.


Registration is now closed.



  • Moriba Jah, Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Byron Tapley, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Kristine Larson, Professor Emerita, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, USA


Scientific Coordination

  • Luísa Bastos, Principal Investigator at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Portugal
  • Patrick Heimbach, Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Pedro Camanho, Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto,Portugal



October 8, 2020

2 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 8 a.m. (Austin time)
Welcome Message by Patrick Heimbach, Program’s Area Director of Space-Earth Interactions at UT Austin

2.10 p.m. | 8.10 a.m.
The space traffic challenge and trans-disciplinary solutions tying academia and industry together” by Moribah Jah + Moderated Q&A

2.50 p.m. | 8.50 a.m.
Defining the roles of miniature satellite in observing the Earth” by Byron Tapley + Moderated Q&A

3.50 p.m. | 9.50 a.m.
Short break

4.05 p.m. | 10.05 a.m.
GPS reflectometry to study the Earth” by Kristine Larson + Moderated Q&A

5.05 p.m. | 11.05 a.m.
Wrap-up by Luísa Bastos, Program’s Area Director of Space-Earth Interactions in Portugal

Target Audience

Academia and Industry interested in Space and Earth Observation studies.


Participants must secure Wi-Fi connection.


Visit the pages below for detailed information on other Masterclasses:

Masterclass I: Innovation in Biomimetic Materials (Nanotechnologies) 
Masterclass III: Emerging HPC Technologies (Advanced Computing)
Masterclass IV: The Challenges of Proton Therapy in Cancer Treatment – Research and Clinical Perspectives (Medical Physics) 


For additional information, please contact events@utaustinportugal.org


October 8, 2020
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